Courtney Gibbons

Courtney GibbonsPronouns: she/her 

Graduation year: 2006 

Hometown: Woodbridge, CT 

Currently living in: Alexandria, VA and Clinton, NY 

Current occupation: AAAS STPF fellow (2022-2023 in Congress; 2023-2024 at National Science Foundation) and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Hamilton College 


What was your experience like at CC as a Math major? 

I loved the Block Plan! I had dropped out of college after finishing my first year elsewhere before coming to CC. When I got here, I thought I might major in French, but then I took Calc 3 in my first block and my whole first year schedule changed to be almost all math and computer science. I realized I loved math (and loved being mad at math!) and enjoyed the teamwork it takes to make real mathematical discoveries on a tight timeline. 


Why were you interested in focusing on math as your major? 

The math and CS professors felt like "my people" in ways I hadn't experienced before. They were excited about the things I was excited about. Thanks to the community I found in the faculty, paraprofessionals, and students, I felt like I had found a home in Tutt Science Center. (I even did my French homework there when I eventually did take a French class.) 


How are you using your major in your post-CC life? 

I went on to get my Ph.D. in Math after CC, and then I became a math professor - so my major was pretty directly relevant to that. But working in Congress last year, I used my math-on-the-Block-Plan skills to research an issue, draft legislation, negotiate with other offices, and all the other things Senate committee staffers do. Just like at CC, my work last year required organizing priorities, working with teammates, and believing (really believing!) you can do anything in 18 days. At NSF, I'm enjoying a slightly less intense pace with deeper, more interesting math. It's the perfect blend of what I learned and how I learned it. 

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